Lake City Reporter: Three Local make the cut in PBS Movie

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Lake City, Florida
University of Florida professor wrote and directed film

Three Lake City residents will make their cinematic debut Friday in a film called “A Second Chance.”

The film was written, directed, edited and produced by University of Florida professor James Babanikos.

Frank Hubert, Lorraine Kirkland and Mark Kirby appear in the film, which will premiere at the university’s Gannett Auditorium tonight at 7:30.

The screening will be preceded by a reception at 6:30p.m.

Hubert plays Edward, a 78-year-old man who finds the “fountain of youth” and becomes 28 again.

He then has to explain to his wife, Maggie, played by Kirkland, and son what happened.

“Edward wants Maggie to go to fountain and become young again also, but she refuses,” Babanikos said. “That is where the conflict begins,”

Babanikos, who has worked with films since 1984, had specific goals in mind for”A Second Chance.”

“I wanted to be able to film in North Florida, to capture the beauty of Ichetucknee Springs and film something cheaply,” he said.

“When most people think of Florida they think of beaches, but the springs here are also beautiful and I wanted to showcase that,’ Babanikos said.

The film was inspired by the story of Ponce de Leon’s search for the fountain of youth, he said.

While most of the filming took place in Gainesville, the Ichetucknee Springs served as the fountain of youth for the film.

Auditions were advertised through a listserv at the university containing contact information for many local actors.

Approximately 60 people auditioned for roles and three were chosen from Columbia County.

“Edward’s role was harder to fill because we needed an older man who could still swim and ride a bike among other things,” Babanikos said.

“I knew Frank was perfect for the role because it was so natural for him.”

Hubert says he most enjoyed a scene in the bathroom, where his character is talking to himself.

“The magic they are able to do with the editing is amazing, because you are able to see me and my image in the mirror, and our lips move differently as we speak to each other,” Hubert said. In another scene, Hubert said he is pictured swimming in the spring toward the camera and as he breaks to the surface, the actor playing the younger version of him, Vince Pisani, appears.

Initially Kirkland auditioned for the role of a waitress in the film, but was selected for the part of Maggie, when the New York actress initially chosen became ill.

“I jumped at the chance to give Lorraine the role, because I knew she was going to be great in it,’ he said.

“They were all such a delight to work with,” he said. “They were not prima donnas, but remained enthusiastic the entire time.”

The filming took place for 13 days last spring and all the editing was completed in December.

“Although I only had three lines, I learned that the filming process takes a long time,’ said Mark Kirby, who plays a delivery man.

“I  am used to plays where you just get up and act, and with this film, I was up until 1a.m. and was able to see how all of this really works.’

In addition to two other productions, Babanikos latest project is scheduled to be shown on PBS later this spring.

–Ashley Cisneros
Ashley Cisneros is a co-founder of Chatter Buzz Media, an Orlando Internet marketing firm that helps companies and organizations engage with their target markets through inbound marketing via the Internet. Chatter Buzz Media, which won the Social Madness competition for the Orlando small business market, is a full-service digital marketing firm specializing in website design, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing and content creation. Prior to founding Chatter Buzz, Ashley worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, technical writer, marketing manager, public relations practitioner and freelance journalist. To see Ashley’s content writing, visit You can also reach Ashley on her Google profile.

By | 2017-04-28T07:32:46+00:00 February 11th, 2005|Categories: Blog, Samples|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Ashley Cisneros Mejia is a journalist, entrepreneur and marketer. She began her career as a newspaper reporter and later as an editor at Florida Trend business magazine. Ashley has worked as a professional freelance writer since 2009, as a technical writer, marketing manager, and public relations practitioner. She also founded two digital marketing agencies in Orlando. Named one of Orlando’s 40 Under 40 and honored by the Women’s Executive Council of Orlando for achievements in media and communications, Ashley earned a B.S. in Journalism and an M.S. in Entrepreneurship at the University of Florida.

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